President’s Staff Innovation Award winners announced for 2018

May 8, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees

Adam Skoczylas, program manager for the Center for Educational Outreach, and the MStaff200 Planning Lead Team are the individual and team winners of the 2018 President’s Staff Innovation Awards.

“Staff members across our campuses contribute to excellence on many levels. The inventive thinking taking place here at Michigan is proof that as we begin our third century, we are well-prepared to meet the challenges ahead,” said President Mark Schlissel in presenting the awards Monday.

The winning innovations and other finalists ranged from enhancing communication of benefits, process improvements for major construction projects, and cross-unit collaboration, to reducing anxiety for young surgery patients, the creation of a free food pantry and large-scale event planning.

The individual and team award winners and finalists, along with their nominators, friends and family members, and members of the Voices of the Staff program management team attended the event in the Regents Room of the Fleming Administration Building.

Skoczylas received the award for his leadership in the creation of Youth Hub as well as the redevelopment of Children on Campus program registry, including a shared database of these programs. Youth Hub is a technology infrastructure that supports and strengthens educational outreach for summer and youth-serving programs across campus.

“His efforts have resulted in increased awareness of these programs, simplified the process from start to finish, improved safety and compliance through better access to data, and saved staff time and resources,” Schlissel said.

Individual award finalists are:

  • Robert Johnston, facilities management director in LSA, for designing an innovative approach to enhance decision-making, stakeholder input, and communications around construction projects, resulting in significant cost savings.
  • Betty Thomas, benefits administrator senior, for improving the accessibility of retirement information for employees by offering virtual appointments using web-based technology via BlueJeans.

Schlissel presented the team award to the MSTAFF200 Planning Lead Team co-chairs Tim Kennedy, building automation services manager, and Tina Jordan, project intermediate manager.

The team was responsible for a grassroots effort of planning, designing and implementing MSTAFF200, the bicentennial event recognizing two centuries of staff contributions to U-M. The team managed more than 600 volunteers to successfully celebrate the tens of thousands of staff who have helped make U-M a world class university.

“I hope that all of you had the opportunity to enjoy last summer’s wonderful bicentennial staff celebration. MSTAFF200 brought together over 20,000 people to the Diag and Ingalls Mall for a spectacular afternoon of food, performances, and booths highlighting the great work of our staff,” Schlissel said.

Team award finalists are:

  • Virtual Tour for Surgery Patients, Mott Children’s Perioperative Unit, for the creation of a video tour that helps reduce anxiety for children and their families.
  • “Maggie’s Marketplace” Team, Ypsilanti Health Center, for the creation of a free food pantry to help increase access to food and thereby improve the health of patients and the community.

The President’s Staff Innovation Awards are presented annually to recognize individual staff members or teams whose big ideas and “outside The Cube” thinking help make the university a better, more inclusive community. The award is sponsored by the Office of the President in collaboration with Voices of the Staff.

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